FAQ: Can I get a second or third adjacent waiver for a short-spaced station in Canada or Mexico?

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First, as an initial manner.  The Local Community Radio Act of 2010 only covers domestic FM facilities, not foreign facilities.

The answer is completely different for each country.


In the international agreement between the United States and Canada, Canada does not care about interference that takes place over United States soil.  

In respect to Canada, you may ask for a waiver of §73.807(g)(1) in respect to a second- or third-adjacent channel short-spaced station or allotment as long as the LPFM station is located at least 5 kilometers from all points along the common border between the United States and Canada.  This is because it impossible for a 94 dBu interfering contour to exceed 5 kilometers.  

Likewise, you may also ask for a waiver of the intermediate frequency (+/- 53 or 54 channels, 10.6 or 10.8 MHz) in respect to Canada, regardless of the location of the LPFM station.  The Canada agreement does not include an intermediate frequency spacing element from low power facilities (LPFM or translator). 

If you request such a waiver, you do not need to determine the arriving service contour of the Canadian short-spaced station, thus meaning that you can use any antenna, unless you are otherwise limited by a domestic short-spaced second-adjacent channel station.   It would probably be best to have REC handle the application in this case.

You must ask for the waiver.  It will not be assumed.

We currently do not have an opinion where it comes to co-channel or first-adjacent channel short-spacing, even if the appropriate LPFM interfering contour does not cross into Canada.  If you are in that situation, please contact REC for assistance. 

The information provided about Canada was based on FCC staff advice.  REC warns that applicants should use staff advice at their own risk as it is not binding.


In the international agreement beween the United States and Mexico, unlike Canada, Mexico does care about interference that takes place over United States soil. 

You may not request a waiver for §73.807(g)(2) second- or third-adjacent channel short-spacing that involves a Mexican station or allotment, regardless of the location of the LPFM station. 

We are still awaiting clarification in respect to waiving intermediate frequency (+/- 53 or 54 channels) with Mexico.  At this time, REC is honoring the intermediate frequency protection requirements where it comes to Mexico until we receive further guidance from staff.

There are no exceptions to this policy where it comes to Mexico.

A note about rounding of distances

§73.808 states that the distances between stations shall be calculated pursuant to §73.208(c).  This states that distances are rounded to the nearest kilometer.  This rounding rule does not apply to Canada or Mexico.  Distances for §73.807 spacing purposes to Canada and Mexico are precise.  For example, if the required minimum distance is 67 kilometers and your application is 66.539 kilometers, while that would be considered 67 kilometers to a domestic FM facility, it is considered 66.539 kilometers to a Mexican or Canadian station/allotment and therefore would be short-spaced and ungrantable. 


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Answer Date: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2024